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ARRL Contest Rule - What does this mean?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by OE4CQF, Jul 11, 2018.

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  1. OE4CQF

    OE4CQF Ham Member QRZ Page

    dr YLs es OMs,

    Reading ARRL's contest rules for frequencies below 30 MHz, I found the following, which I do not fully understand:

    2.2.1. Use of spotting assistance or nets (operating arrangements involving other individuals, DX-alerting nets, packet, multi-channel decoders such as CW Skimmer, etc) not physically located at the station is permitted. (Exception: spotting information obtained from any source outside the station boundary via a closed or dedicated communication link may not be used.)

    So what would be allowed?

    Running a computer connected to the internet and watching (also posting on?) e.g. etc.?

    What does the exception mean?
    A computer outside the station may not be used?

    From my callsign you might tell, I am not an English native speaker, so this might be one reason for my non-understanding. If this is not the right forum for my question, please move it to the right one.

    Thanks for your replies in advance!

    Kind regards,
    73 de OE4CQF, Christian
  2. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hallo Christian,

    I believe this rule is to intended to disallow Single Op Unlimited stations from using

    1) REMOTE stations, ie, SDR's, in addition to the home station.

    This is also covered in the General Rules for All ARRL Contests, Stations remotely controlled by radio link may use necessary equipment at the control point. This does not include using the control point as another receiving location.


    2) Obtain spots from dedicated "helpers" that are exclusively available only to that station and not to the general contest audience.

    Spots obtained off the Internet or an open packet cluster are of course permitted. Having a computer with a Skimmer set up remotely would be OK if it broadcast on the Internet or via packet for ALL others to see and not made exclusive to a single user or CLUB group.

    Qualification - this is just my own unofficial interpretation :) Bart W9JJ ARRL Contest Branch Manager would of course be a better authority.

    73, John, WØPV
    OE4CQF likes this.
  3. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The rule means that if you are entering as a Single Operator (not as a SO-Assisted), you can’t use any of the spotting (DX Cluster etc) networks or systems to find stations to work in the contest.

    The wording has gotten... convoluted because over the years, a very few handful of ops have tried to find loop-holes to get around this simple restriction.

    But that’s really all it means. SO means Single Operator — all on your own, or as someone I know would put it, A Boy And His Radio. (He usually refers to himself this way, no offense intended to YL’s)
    K9ASE likes this.
  4. OE4CQF

    OE4CQF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Mni tnx to both of you for explaining!

    W3WN: The paragraph was copied from the "Single Operator Unlimited Section" which seems to include "Single Operator Assisted". I am planning to practice a bit during the IARU HF championship the upcoming weekend, be it as a contest participant or only as logcheck.

    Now I am confident that I may use a public DX cluster in this category, if I decide to send my logs as a participant. For logchecks these restrictions will not apply anyway, I assume.

    73 de OE4CQF, Christian
    W0PV likes this.
  5. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    What is allowed? Use of spotting websites.

    What is not? Using a spotting source not accessible to all (via telephone call, etc.)...
    AG3Q, N2SUB, OE4CQF and 1 other person like this.
  6. OE4CQF

    OE4CQF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great and concise explanation!
    mni tnx!
    73 de OE4CQF, Christian
  7. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's my (simple-minded) understanding of the rule, anyway. :)
  8. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Now that you have given the answer, the question makes sense. Why didn't they just say it like that? o_O
    W4NNF likes this.
  9. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    The distinction sometimes made between "panadapter" and "skimmer" is kind of funny in the context of whether someone is operating "assisted" or not.
  10. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The rule was probably run past a lawyer.
    AD5HR, W4NNF and N2SUB like this.

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